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INTO THE BLACK

INTO THE BLACK is a sci-fi adventure game using the Pink Hack system. Somewhat of a personal love letter to the Mass Effect franchise, Into the Black is a picaresque adventure game where the players must navigate and explore a strange and wonderous galaxy while deeply indebted to an interstellar corporation. Life among the stars, then, is about treading the razor's edge of struggling for survival and finding joy and love where one can.

This is a TEXT-FREE, PRE-LAYOUT EDITION. Into the Black was previously released as an ashcan and is now in the final processes of layout in order to bring it to print. This new edition is twice the size, split up into three books, and features:

BOOK I

  • A 0-Level funnel character creation system for generating grist for the capitalist's wheel
  • Six backgrounds, two classes, and a carousing-based XP system
  • A three-stat OSR-inspired framework built atop games such as Into the Odd, Mausritter, Whitehack, and The Vanilla Game, easily adaptable for your OSR of choice
  • A 1d20/2d6 mechanism resolution system
  • A list of 36 kinetic abilities

BOOK II

  • Hireable crew
  • Land, hover and aerial vehicles
  • Spaceships, modular spaceship customization, and spaceship combat
  • Trade and trade goods as well as investments, passage, and freight
  • Travel, navigations and misfortune

BOOK III

  • Corporations and factions
  • Capers and missions
  • Credit, galactic standards and equipment
  • Die-drop galaxy mapping
  • Planetary generators
  • NPC generators
  • Miscellanea

Reviews:

"The result is a homespun corner of space full of potential. An emergent story of local warlords or ancient tech can play out, or the group can soak in the emotional melange of finding a series of barren, if beautiful, landscapes while they watch the twin suns dance below several horizons."
-Chase Carter, Dicebreaker

Purchase

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this TTRPG you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Into the Black 1.0.zip 222 kB

Exclusive content

Support this TTRPG at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

If this game is something you'd like to try but isn't in your budget right now, please grab a community copy, or contact me.

Comments

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What would be the guidelines for making characters without using the o-level character funnel?

Hi friend! Creating a level 1 character is as simple as creating a level 0 character and leveling them up in character creation, the same way you would in play!

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If in reading the description right, this game is going to have a well layed out print version. Is that correct? Any ETA on that?

I love the game ambience and all of the tables!

I'm trying to map the galaxy, but I'm a bit lost (also I'm not a native English speaker):

  • When I draw the concentric circles, how do the orbital subsectors work? What happens if different circles intersect? 
  • What does it mean "darkspace"? Is it just the space between the exterior of the orbits? What does it mean to grid out it? To divide it into little areas?

hey friend! You've got it right in your diagram - I usually just draw my circles smaller so they don't intersect but it isn't the worst if they do. Darkspace is exactly just the space between the subsectors - just draw some lines between the subsectors to divide it up and make big (or little) spaces!

Glad you've enjoyed it! There's a new edition coming soon, too ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€

xo

Awesome, thank you!

Are the tables going to be modified or there are going to be new ones? I was thinking about translating the tables (for personal use, of course).

both! And I fully support any and all translation work!

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You've definitely nailled that Mass Effect feel. It's clearly different, but just familiar enough. I do have a question though regarding inventory and gear bubbles, or just confirmation I'm understanding it right. 

Any time any item is picked up, it takes up one of the 10 inventory slots, but isn't necessarily marked in the gear bubbles. The gear bubbles are only marked if you pick up something like a tool or weapon you plan on using, but they're also documented under inventory too.

Am I understanding that correctly? 

I think I understand that marking the gear bubbles when reloading is to sort of simulate ammo stock/purchasing ammo later when you pay to open the bubbles back up.

so the gear bubbles function sort of like an alternative inventory! They are "hypothetical" tools/gewgags/etc your character just happens to have that you can fill a gear bubble to retroactively have had all along. Like if your spaceship's hyperdrive was broken while a corpo cruiser was breathing down your neck, you'd fill a gear bubble and say "good thing I remembered to steal that hyperspanner from that merc's toolkit onworld" and go fix it. Does that make sense?

Yes, that makes a lot of sense! One more question, if I may? In the Kinesis section, it states that specialists cannot use a power above their level. Yet in the very next paragraph it says to randomly roll a power level and ability, which could end up with a power above the PC's level. It's a little confusing. Can or can't specialists use powers above their level?

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Into the Black is a sci-fi RPG inspired by Mass Effect. Instead of being a commander in the army, you are travellers indebted to The Company. It has all the rules you need to play a spacefaring adventure.

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Hi! Thanks for creating a great game system. I'm particularly looking forward to playing with the sector and planet generation systems.

I'm having trouble picturing the range band system. Is this simply split into the ranges listed (I take a turn to move from the same room - Close - to outside the building - Near), or is there something else to it I'm missing?

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Picked up the game awhile back but only just recently read through the rulebook fully. I absolutely love the game and am hoping to have my current group play through some sessions with Into the Black soon. However, I'm not sure if I missed this somewhere but on the encounters table some creatures are listed with an AC, such as the ceramic ant, which I don't see mentioned anywhere else in the rulebook. As attacks always hit, what does the AC refer to for said creatures?

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Aha! An Ashcan Typo!

Any instances of "AC" can be blamed on terminal B/X brain swapping AC for AV. It's supposed to be the armor value of the creature (ie damage reduction).

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Ah that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification

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Hi! Great work on the system, I like the simplicity of it.

Can I ask what the PINKHACK system is? Because a Whitehack+Into The Odd system is very interesting to me.

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This is it! The system in the book is PINKHACK ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

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Oh I see. I guess I misunderstood and thought PINKHACK is something separate. Thanks!

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I didn't know how much I needed a sci-fi OSR game until I began reading this. With fantasy games I'm not usually into OSR because I'm so familiar with the genre that I feel the need for some complexity. But I'm not so confident when it comes to sci-fi. I've read other big-publishers sci-fi games, but this hit me differently! It fits my experience level as a GM; with this I can improvise a setting that feels my own. And the best feature is that I feel confident about bringing it to my players and convincing them to play it. Everything is so clear, the art is so nice, this game screams "play me". Also now I can't stop thinking about this song

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Thank you so much! I'm glad you've enjoyed it thus far and can't wait to finish the first big update I have in the can ๐Ÿ’™

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What's the best way to feedback about the game? It's really mind-blowing what's you've created so far. I really like the setting generation tables. I can see those having broad appeal. Thank you so much.

Ooh a quick idea, maybe a Discord channel for your games would be helpful, then we could all figure stuff out together and ask questions etc?

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Really enjoying playing with the creation systems at the moment, one question though - for 'orbital subsectors' (p55) should the 3-4 result be moon rather than planet?

Some orbital/darkspace and planetary encounter tables would be cool, though it's easy enough as is to mix up the existing ones to suit!

Definitely enjoying it though, looking forward to seeing it progress through Ashcan!

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Thanks! There's a fair chunk of content I'm working on at the moment, including expanded encounter tables! I've been thinking of planets and moons largely interchangeably wrt orbital subsectors but a separate moon generator also sounds like a good idea.

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I love the look of this, but as someone new to TTRPG's I'm confused on the lack or turn order etc. I was hoping for some slightly more defined rules? I really want to run my first game with this but I'm just a bit lost at the moment. 

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Totally understandable! It's definitely a work-in-progress, and as with most of my stuff it sort of assumes a familiarity with ttrpgs that not everyone has. Was there something in particular you were stuck on?

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Thanks, I think If I had examples of a map and a example turn I could more easily wrap my head around it all. I'm loving the setting and am busy trying to arrange my first game. 

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Very cool!

Just curious, is there a character sheet about? Also...cheeky I know but is there any chance you could share an example Galaxy made using the rules? Thank you!

Quick typo i spotted on page 32 "In combat with a group of enemies, roll Morae at the end of each Round in which one of them has died".

(+2)

Yeah! I've got some additional content in the can, which (hopefully) fixes a pile of the typos and also adds some more things - examples and etc. I'm also looking into working a character sheet in at some point.

hi! is there any update about getting character sheets?

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Hii, I am definitely going to buy this game but before I do- what's the price threshold for the exclusive content mentioned on the page?

(+2)

Oh there's no exclusive content or price threshold or anything - those are free copies available to anyone who might not be able to pick this up right now/want to see the game first. It's all the same files!

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Thank you for the quick reply! I'll make sure to support above the threshold regardless ๐Ÿคž

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Claimed a community copy and loved it so much I came back to fully support. With just a few tables and rules, you create such an evocative setting, and I am very excited to bring it to the table!

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I appreciate it! Got a lot more in the works.

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Very cool! I actually want to run it.

Small typo on the corporations page. "CORPORATIONS Roll d20s to generate predatory and terrifying drugs to be feared throughout the galaxy."


You would need some guidance about how much money you get from trades or loot to be a complete game. Or at least references to other games ;-).

You need some guidance about would cover or tactics help in combat? I would add +1  to +6 for cover and treat it like a hardsuit. (+1 or +2 for common cover, +6 hiding behind a brick wall, provided the attacking weapon has enough power to go through a brick wall).

The vocations could list a little more detail about what skills they provide, but I think it's fine.

It seems like flamethrowers, grenades, and exotic weapons could be added to the weapons list.

(+2)

Thanks! The vocation/skills are unlikely to be expanded upon - it's a very ruling-heavy system, rather than a hard skill list it's more leaning towards a "how can this vocation apply to this situation" type deal. I'm expanding on trade endeavors and seeds/nudges for existing under space capitalism, so expect a fair-sized content update (plus typo corrections ๐Ÿ˜‚) in the near future.